We're accountable because we've failed to create a framework in our society that supervises, monitors and serves as a check on these institutions, two of them private, that have failed to properly protect potential child victims.
We're accountable because we haven't made it a priority to expand the resources and budgets of our various children and youth agencies.
We're accountable because we've relied too much on private charitable organizations to provide the support and services that kids need, and that aren't required to be as open as government, nor as stringently regulated.
We're accountable because we haven't applied continued pressure on these institutions to follow through and clean up their acts. A second grand jury report was issued regarding the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. While steps have been taken with regard to juveniles in relation to the Luzerne County scandal, large scale reforms to the Judicial Conduct Board, which was alerted to the corruption of the ex-judges and did nothing, have collected dust. And yes, if more than a year has passed since the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice issued its recommendations and nothing has happened to either the structure or the personnel at the JCB, then it's collecting dust.
Shame on us all.
Look, writing a bunch of new laws and regulations is easy. That's not the heat that's going to kill this cancer.
It goes deeper than that. It's a cultural issue. Institutions and their leaders need to be held accountable. Almost all corruption starts with secrecy and insularity. Openness should be demanded of all our institutions. Leaders who fail to protect kids and their apologists need to be confronted and driven from their holes.
People need to understand that no individual or institution, no matter how large and powerful, comes before the needs and safety of children. Powerful people and powerful institutions are aided in their corruption when people are afraid to criticize, or worse yet, attack those who do. Good individuals and institutions can withstand criticism. Corrupt ones crumble from scrutiny.
For too long we've had an old-boy culture in this state that lets the powerful put their interests ahead of the greater good. That culture needs to be smashed to pieces.
Think I'm making too much of this? Then think of that scared, violated little boy getting raped in the shower by a grown man. Recognize that horror story is just the latest in a decade full of them.